In Utero Arsenic Exposure in Mice and Early Life Susceptibility to Cancer

The Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Journal

July 31, 2015

Dr. Michael Garry, Dr. Amy Williams, and Dr. John DeSesso published "In Utero Arsenic Exposure in Mice and Early Life Susceptibility to Cancer," in The Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Journal.

In its review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's toxicological review of inorganic arsenic (iAs), the National Academy of Sciences identified carcinogenic endpoints among the highest priority health effects of concern and stated the need to consider evidence that early life exposures may increase the risk of adverse health effects. Recent studies in mice suggest that in utero exposure to arsenic increases susceptibility to cancer later in life. These data are striking in light of the general lack of evidence for carcinogenicity in rodents exposed to iAs.

To evaluate the transplacental carcinogenic potential of iAs, a detailed analysis of the toxicology literature evaluating the role of in utero arsenic exposure in carcinogenesis was conducted. Bladder, lung, and skin tumors, which are the tumor types most consistently reported in humans exposed to high arsenic levels, were not consistently increased in mouse studies. There was also a lack of concordance across studies for other tumor types not typically reported in humans.

Therefore, we considered methodological and other critical issues that may have contributed to variable results, and we suggest additional studies to address these issues. It was concluded that the available data do not provide evidence of a causal link between in utero arsenic exposure and cancer or indicate early life-stage susceptibility to arsenic-induced cancer, particularly at environmentally relevant doses.

To view the article, click here.